Before I write another word, let me be clear: I. Am. Good. I am safe. I am taking my meds. I am seeing my docs. I am living life – cursing it along the way at times – but living life. I am good and still here. Don’t always want to be and yet here we are. Crawling and clawing through the next 60 seconds.
Now that we’ve established that…
“Jesus, we’re really doing this today? Really? Why? I don’t want to do this for one more second. That whole ‘I know the plans I have for you…’ thing is crap. Crap. F*#! You, Jesus – Your plans suck!”
My F-bomb Jesus tirade came about 10 minutes after I woke up this morning. My Fave rolled over to cuddle for a few minutes and simply the mattress shifting under me as he slid over, made my body scream. When I sat up and had to lift my legs over the side of the bed to attempt standing up, I knew Jesus was about to get F-bombed. What followed the F-bombing is what we’d like people to be honest about but, when the words come out, “normal people” lose their minds.
“I don’t want to be here. I can’t do life for one more second. This. This is not life. I want to die. I want to die. Just please let me die. Please. I am begging You, don’t make me do this anymore. I would be better off dead, everyone would.”
I considered the pharmacy of psych meds in my drawer that would no doubt do the trick as I looked at the walker always within reach for mornings like this and processed the heaviness of having to answer, “What’s up with the crutches?” 100 times today.
And yet, I’m still here. Nearly 15 hours after having that “conversation” with Jesus, I am finishing the thoughts from this morning and still here and maybe even letting myself be a little proud of that accomplishment.
First, I love Jesus. I have seen what He’s done for me and none of those 60 seconds I clawed my way through today, or any other day for that matter, are happening without Him. Second, I have meds and with them I can vomit the ick and move on (sort of), which sounds much more assertive than it is; slow, pathetic Eeyore-like crawl of dragging my ass might be more accurate. Third, I have a killer Tribe. From My Fave to my doc and everyone in between – I way out kicked my coverage in the area of people I do life with. When you struggle with something the people around you can’t comprehend, no matter how much they want to or try to, it creates this whole catch 22. I feel bad that they feel bad. They feel uncomfortable and helpless and need to go on with their day but feel guilty about it (and let’s be honest, there’s some relief in being able to escape all that uncomfortable, helpless guilt for some length of time).
The thing is I am not the only person in my house or My Tribe or organizations or life struggling under my mental and physical illnesses/disorders – we’re all in the pool together. Just in different ways. We’re all pissed and frustrated and tired. We’re all praying for good days and cursing the bad. We’re all wishing it would end. We’re all anxious about when a bad day is going to show up out of nowhere, slam us like a Mack truck and what it’s going to leave in its wake to clean up. We’re all grateful, but a bit cautious, when a good day, or string of them, come along. We’re all left feeling a little defeated when the good day or string of them passes. When people do life together, they carry the burdens of each other. And empathetic overachiever, people-pleasers like me start spiraling down a hole and don’t want the people they do life with to be burdened one more day. Quitting life sounds like the greatest idea and act of love ever. The chaos and uncertainty and Mack trucks aren’t affecting anyone ever again if we’re not here.
That doesn’t always mean we are going to do something to hurt ourselves but the word “suicide” has come to mean “I am finding a way out and doing it right this second.” For me, it’s such a relief to be able to look at the people I love and say, “I want to die today. I thought about dying today.” rather than having to keep that thought ruminating in my head with all of the other chaos. Shoving those thoughts down over and over is like throwing gasoline on the fire. When the fire gets too hot, the reaction sounds something like, “We had no idea he/she was struggling so bad.” or “This was so sudden – no one saw this coming.”
Awesome, Amy – so what exactly are we supposed to do? I’m not a psychiatrist or therapist but I ran both of these thoughts by my psych this morning, having written them just an hour before I saw her today.
- Let us say, “Dying sounds like a great option today.” and sit with us in it. Don’t fix. Sit. Don’t panic and call 911 or our doc. Sit in it with us. Let us say it out loud so it’s not accumulating in our heads. The bigger the inferno grows, the better ending it sounds. Someone saying they would be better off dead is often a “Hey, struggling here.” We have to be able to say it out loud and know y’all aren’t calling out the National Guard. Looking for more warning signs,seeking some resources so if we need more than “Sit with us in it.”, you have them at hand? Yep, do all of that. Sometimes the sharing what feels like a shameful, misunderstood and dirty secret actually releases the death grip it feels like it has one us.
- “What’s wrong?”, “Why are you having a bad day today?” or other variations of the same, please don’t. We love you for saying them but your exact words kind of suck sometimes, but we do love you for the intent. We love that you see our hurt, sadness, madness, hopelessness. We do and we love you for it. But we can’t always answer those questions. We can’t. Picture a bowl of spaghetti, drenched in olive oil and 12 balls of yarn, all different colors and already unraveled by a playful kitten. That’s how the thoughts look to us. They are all connected and jumbled and we can’t grasp or even figure out where they start or end and how they can be happy, sad, joyfilled and devastating all at the same time. So when you ask “What’s wrong?” it’s 50 more lbs in the back pack we’re carrying that already is 1,000 lbs in it. “Shitty day, huh? I won’t fix, no matter how much I want to. I can’t imagine and won’t even attempt. I love you and will be here for whatever you need. You’re success rate is 100% – you’ve survived every day that came before this one, good and bad. You’re not alone and this stuff doesn’t scare me so don’t feel like you have to protect me from it. I’m here in it with you and you’re not in the hole solo.” or some version of that – I’d be “Yes” screaming like Meg Ryan in the diner scene of “When Harry Met Sally”. (If I lost you, Google it and then add it to your queue – great movie!) Just don’t ask me to explain it. (My psychiatrist challenged me on the spaghetti thing – she said it might feel like that but then asked “What is it really?” When I snot-bubble cried “People seeing a chink in my armor.” she told me I was arrogant, rooted in humility and feared if I let people see that I wasn’t always a “Force to be reckoned with”, I’d seem more like an “authentic, in the daily battle” Warrior than the “fake, failure, pathetic excuse for a Warrior” I thought people would see me as. I wanted to throat punch her, but she wasn’t wrong which is why she gets paid to torture me. But I digress…)
I actually started writing this in the depths of the “ick” this morning after My Fave left for work. I had no intention of it being this long and appreciate those that stuck with me on this one. It’s been a hell of a day – I fell asleep at 7:45 while we drove home from dinner with my mother-in-law. I feel like I got hit by a bus, twice. But I’m here. My 100% perfect track record continues and while we’ve established that I’m not a psychiatrist or therapist or any other -ist, I can say, on days like this for me, the gas can the voice of “pathetic ick” is all too happy to use to create an inferno, loses so much of its power simply by having the trust established to say to My Fave or My Tribe, “I’d be better off dead.” It’s taken much practice by all, but it has saved me more than once.
After all, secrets lose their power when they’re no longer secrets.♥